Records Authority 2013/00067474

National Australia Day Council Limited

Honours and Awards Administration

March 2013

This is an accurate reproduction of the authorised records authority content, created for accessibility purposes


The National Archives of Australia has developed this Records Authority in consultation with the National Australia Day Council Limited to set out the requirements for keeping or destroying records related to honours and award administration.

This Authority is based on the identification and analysis of records related to honours and awards administration. It takes into account the legal and organisational requirements and the interests of Commonwealth agencies responsible for honours and awards, and their stakeholders, and the National Archives of Australia.

The Authority sets out those records that need to be retained as national archives and specifies the minimum length of time that temporary records need to be kept. This authority give those agencies to whom it is issued permission under the Archives Act 1983 for the destruction of temporary records described after the minimum retention period has expired. Retention periods for these temporary records are based on: an assessment of business needs, broader organisational accountability requirements; and community expectations. 

As changes in circumstances may affect future records management requirements, the periodic review of this Authority is recommended. All amendments must be approved by the National Archives.

Application of this Authority

  1. This Authority is to be used to determine how long records must be kept. Records are matched to the relevant core business and records class in the Authority.
    • Where the minimum retention period has expired and the records are not needed for agency business they should be destroyed as authorised in this Authority.
    • Records that have not reached the minimum retention period must be kept until they do.
    • Records that are identified as Retain as National Archives (RNA) are to be transferred to the National Archives of Australia for preservation.
  2. This Authority is issued to several Commonwealth entities with responsibility for managing activities relating to honours and awards administration. Other Commonwealth entities that undertake this function can apply to the Archives to use the Authority.
  3. This Authority should be used in conjunction with general records authorities such as:
    • the Administrative Functions Disposal Authority (AFDA)  and/or AFDA Express issued by the National Archives to cover business processes and records common to Australian Government agencies;
    • General Records Authority (31) for source (including original) records that have been copied, converted or migrated.
  4. The Normal Administrative Practice (NAP) provision of the Archives Act 1983 gives agencies permission to destroy certain records without formal authorisation. This usually occurs where records are duplicated, facilitative or for short-term use only. NAP does not replace arrangements agreed to in this Authority but can be used as a tool to assist in identifying records for destruction together with an agency's Records Authority or Authorities, and with AFDA and AFDA Express. The National Archives recommends that agencies develop and implement a Normal Administrative Practice policy.  Advice and guidance on destroying records as a normal administrative practice and on how to develop an agency NAP policy is available from the National Archives' website at
  5. Records that are reasonably likely to be needed as evidence in a current or future judicial proceeding or are subject to a request for access under the Archives Act 1983, the Freedom of Information Act 1982 or any other relevant Act must not be destroyed until the action has been completed.
  6. Records subject to a disposal freeze must not be destroyed until the freeze has been lifted. Further information about disposal freezes and whether they affect the application of this Authority is available from the National Archives website at
  7. Where the method of recording information changes (for example from a manual system to an electronic system, or when information is migrated from one system to a new system) this authority can still be applied, providing the records document the same core business. The information must be accessible for the period of time prescribed in this Authority. Continuing access to the information, including digital information, will need to be maintained for the periods prescribed in this records authority or until the information is transferred into the custody of the National Archives.
  8. In general, retention requirements indicate a minimum period for retention. Agencies may extend minimum retention periods if it considers that there is an administrative need to do so, without further reference to the National Archives. Where an agency believes that its accountability will be substantially compromised because a retention period or periods are not adequate, it should contact the National Archives for review of the retention period.
  9. Records coming within retain as national archives' classes in this Authority have been determined to be part of the archival resources of the Commonwealth under section 3C of the Archives Act 1983. The determination of Commonwealth records as archival resources of the Commonwealth obliges agencies to transfer the records to the National Archives when they cease to be current and, in any event, within 15 years of the records coming into existence, under section 27 of the Archives Act 1983.
  10. Records in the care of agencies should be appropriately stored, managed and preserved. Agencies need to meet this obligation to ensure that the records remain authentic and accessible over time. Under Section 31 of the Archives Act 1983, access arrangements are required for records that become available for public access including those records that remain in agency custody.
  11. Appropriate arrangements should be made with the National Archives when records are to be transferred into custody. The National Archives accepts for transfer only those records designated as national archives.
  12. Advice on how to use this Authority is available from agency records managers. If there are problems with the application of the Authority that cannot be resolved, please contact the National Archives.

Contact Information

For assistance with this authority or for advice on other records management matters, please contact National Archives’ Agency Service Centre.

Queen Victoria Terrace
Parkes ACT 2600

PO Box 7425
Canberra Mail Centre ACT 2610



Person to whom notice of authorisation is given:

Mr Adrian Watts
Interim Chief Executive Officer
National Australia Day Council Limited
Old Parliament House
King George Terrace
Parkes ACT 2600


Authorises arrangements for the alteration of records in accordance with section 26 of the Archives Act 1983.


All core business records relating to honours and awards administration.

This authority gives permission for the alteration of the records described. This authority will apply only with the consent of the agency currently responsible for the business documented in the records described.

Authorised by:

David Fricker
National Archives of Australia

20 March 2013


Honours and Awards Administration

The core business of granting honours and awards by the Australian government to officially recognise gallantry, bravery, good citizenship and service to communities and to the nation by an individual or groups.

The core tasks associated with honours and awards administration include:

  • establishing an honour or award and having it accepted by the appropriate authorities, including developing assessment criteria;
  • forming advisory bodies, committees and panels to assess nominations and managing membership;
  • supporting members of advisory bodies, committees and panels eg administering remunerations,
  • providing information about the honours, awards and the application and nomination process;
  • receiving applications, nominations and recommendations;
  • researching and assessing applications according to the criteria;
  • making recommendations on nominations; 
  • advising successful nominees and nominators and accepting rejections by nominees who do not wish to receive the award;
  • managing awards relinquished by a recipient;
  • managing the cancellation and reinstatement of awards;
  • creating and maintaining award registers / rolls of honours;
  • designing award certificates, medals and other regalia;
  • preparing warrants, certificates and organising the striking and inscription of medallions and other award regalia; and
  • conducting awards ceremonies or investitures.

General activities include:

  • providing and receiving advice;
  • making arrangements to support journeys;
  • delegating powers and authorising actions;
  • managing enquiries;
  • evaluating and reviewing;
  • developing policies and procedures; and
  • reporting.

For the establishment and administration of Governing Boards, including minutes of Board meetings, use the GOVERNING BODIES General Records Authority 27.

For producing publications and other printed material, use AFDA/AFDA Express – PUBLICATION.

For the engagement of consultants and contractors, use AFDA/ADFA Express – PROCUREMENT.

For organising media coverage for honour and award activities, use AFDA/AFDA Express – COMMUNITY RELATIONS.

Class no Description of records Disposal action

Records establishing an honour or award. Includes:

  • consultations and approvals for new or changed award arrangements (e.g. Letters Patent, Regulations, Order of Precedence, Gazette notices);
  • honour and award policies, criteria / conditions;
  • successful applications for eligibility to nominate (e.g. approving status of voluntary organisations to submit nominations);
  • establishing and appointing members to councils, boards, committees and advisory bodies to oversee the process and make recommendations and minutes of these bodies; and
  • medal, certificate and other regalia design records.

Records documenting successful nominations for an honour or award. Includes:

  • nominations, applications and supporting documentation;
  • investigation and research records;
  • advice, recommendations and approvals;
  • notifications, including confirmation of nomination, nominee acceptance / rejection form; and
  • honour and award registers / rolls of honour.

Records documenting award ceremonies. Includes:

  • invitation lists;
  • selected official photographs and recordings;
  • briefings and liaison with investiture representatives;
  • copies of speeches; and
  • event reports.

Records documenting the relinquishment, cancellation or reinstatement of an honour or award.

Records documenting significant administrative tasks supporting the core business. Includes:

  • delegations and revocation of powers to grant honours and awards; and
  • reviews, evaluations and reports of the award process.
Retain as national archives
61307 Records relating to unsuccessful honour and award nominations and applications, and unsuccessful applications for eligibility to nominate (eg approving status of voluntary organisations to submit nominations) Destroy 3 years after last action

Records documenting:

  • routine operational and administrative tasks supporting the core business; and
  • honour and award activities other than those covered in classes 61306 and 61307
Destroy 7 years after last action
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